Dying with Jesus is for people who are dying and for their caregivers, whether family members or pastoral-care professionals. Each page contains a Scripture passage with a brief commentary, a meditation intended to capture the thoughts and feelings of the dying person, and a response from Jesus. The booklet can be used as a single extended meditation or it can be read a page at a time in any sequence that is helpful. Page headings indicate the theme found in the meditation and can guide the user to the appropriate page for a given moment.
The meditations, rooted in the experience of dying people, may help to identify and give words to many painful thoughts and feelings. By reading a given meditation together chaplains, family members, or the dying person may be able to initiate a difficult but necessary conversation. It is hoped that Dying with Jesus will reveal some of Jesus' human struggle and will make it accessible to all who are facing the same frightening reality. All who use it are especially encouraged to share the feelings and memories it calls forth. This gift of shared experience will enlighten those who accompany the dying and will create a bridge between the gospel story and those of us who hear it today.
Chapters are "Diagnosis," "The Road," "Weakness," "Family," "Caregivers," "Isolation," "The Blind Ones," "Pain," "Stripped," "Inevitability," "Last Breath," "Emptiness," "Mystery," "Hope," and "Traditional Prayers."
Angela M. Hibbard, IHM, is the adult faith formation coordinator at St. Ephrem Parish in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She teaches liturgy at Ecumenical Theological Seminary.